2012 Winter Project Week:BKPLUSSlicer

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Key Investigators

  • BWH: Isaiah Norton, Mehdi Moradi, Matthew Toews
  • Queen's: Tamas Ungi


The goal is to integrate and streamline tracked data logging from the BK ultrasound (specifically RF data) using Slicer and PLUS. This will facilitate use of the BK system for on- and off-line visualization and data analysis. In certain clinical applications in BWH AMIGO that use the BK system, such as prostate interventions and brain tumor resection procedures, real time ultrasound-based tissue typing is a very useful addition. Tracking and streaming of the RF data to a high end PC is essential for these purposes.

Approach, Plan

The ProFocus BK machine, equipped with the optional research interface has the ability to stream RF data over a CameraLink connection to a frame grabber. This setup is now in use in BWH. The software developed for data logging lacks a GUI, the ability for real time B-mode display, and tracking at the moment. The PLUS library, developed for streaming data from the Ultrasonix machine through an OpenIGTLink, essentially meets the visualization and tracking aims. Since this is all implemented with a different US machine in PLUS, theoretically, we just have to instantiate new subclasses for this specific video source. In practice, we anticipate complications arising from the different hardware platforms.


In meetings with the Queen's group and PLUS developers, we analyzed the architecture of the PLUS library to determine the best point of integration. A blueprint and initial connection handler code were created for the interface between the PLUS library and the BK SDK. The development is highly hardware dependent and will be completed/debugged back in Boston.

We are implementing a subclass of the vtkPlusVideoSource code, following the template of vtkSonixVideoSource, to allow multi-mode (B-mode and RF-mode) acquisition with a flag setting. The point of interface is PlusBKOEMReceiver. This class inherits from both vtkVideoBuffer and IAcquisitionDataReceiver (from private BK SDK). This class handles the trickiest piece, which is the mutex locking and data transfer between the video buffer and the closed-source camera acquisition library.

Delivery Mechanism

This work will be delivered to the NA-MIC Kit as a

  1. Slicer Module (via PLUS and OpenIGTLink)